“Oh come on, really?” Hermione Granger snapped as she saw Ron Weasley pick up a book. “That’s not a real book.”
“It is too a real book,” Ron snapped back as he held up a copy of D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Mythology. “And besides, it’s a whole lot easier for me to read instead of those long difficult complicated books that you like.”
Jacquel Romanov frowned as she stared at the two of them arguing. Don’t get involved, don’t get involved she repeated to herself. She walked to the other end of the bookstore, towards the fantasy section. The section that Hermione would never dare venture to. She had half a mind to grab the new book that everyone on Facebook was talking about, but she knew that Hermione would never read fantasy or science fiction at all.
Science was magic, her grandmother had once said. Magic was undiscovered science. Science fiction presented an infinite world of possibilities, such as space travel and life on different planets.
Something that Hermione would never understand.
Jacquel had found the book and stared at it for a long time. A saga combining Greek mythology with science fiction. How could she say no to that?
She made her way to the counter and began to make her purchase when Ron and Hermione showed up, still arguing over the whither-tos of Greek mythology; or rather, the book that Ron was holding in his hand.
“Jacquel, you’re the one who actually reads science fiction, you tell Ron that’s not a real book,” Hermione yelled.
“It is too a real book,” Jacquel said as she examined Ron’s book. “Mythology was before they had science. Back then, the ancient people didn’t have access to most of the stuff that normal people take for granted these days. Back then, they believed in the ancient gods.” Hermione glared at her. “The Greek gods were the most famous,” Jacquel continued, “and long before Christianity took over, it was the Greek gods that held providence over the lives of the ancient Greeks.”
“Very good,” said a man in a wheelchair as he stared at the children. “At least someone here appreciates Greek mythology. But here’s a question for you.” He cleared his throat and said, “Can any of you read this?”
He handed them a huge piece of paper with some writing on it. Ron glared at it and said, “I can’t understand a word they’re saying.” Hermione frowned and said, “This is gibberish. Surely someone doesn’t appreciate the value of writing.”
Jacquel, however, was not daunted. She summoned her reading glasses and began reading the words “Kronos has returned.” She said, “It’s all in ancient Greek.”
“Indeed it is,” said the man. “Where did you learn to read ancient Greek?”
“At the International Language Institute in Athens, Greece,” said Jacquel.
“I see,” said the man as he watched the children leave the bookstore.
Hermione said to Jacquel, “Did you really study at the institute, because I have reasons to think that you are lying. There’s no way that you could be there every summer.”
“My grandmother teaches Russian there, so I get a free lesson in whatever language that I choose,” said Jacquel. “You know nothing of my life, Hermione Granger.”
“Also, where did you get the glasses?” Ron said as he stared at them.
“You know how I can’t read the books at Hogwarts because they gave me a headache,” said Jacquel. “Well, my grandmother took me to a doctor and he gave me these special glasses to help me read. But somehow, I found myself being able to read in almost any language and to see things that not even a wizard can see.”
‘Indeed,” said Hermione. “And why couldn’t you read the books that were assigned from Hogwarts?”
“My brain is not wired to read magical books,” said Jacquel, “and as such, my grandmother had tried to forestall my entry into Hogwarts until my magic could be determined.”
“But you don’t have any actual magic inside you despite the fact that you’re so good at casting spells and such,” said Ron.
“My mother was a spellcaster, did you know that?” Jacquel snapped at him.
Hermione said, “That still doesn’t explain how and why you can’t do anything beyond spellcasting. And why are you so interested in science fiction and fantasy?”
“Because I know for a fact that science fiction and fantasy go together and there is also the fact that I may or may not be a witch at all. My mother wasn’t one of the top students at Hogwarts and even my grandmother couldn’t do magic beyond a first year’s understanding,” said Jacquel. “Now we need to get back to the hotel and quickly or else your mother will find out that we went to a muggle bookstore and she’ll have a cow.”
Not far from where the kids were standing, someone was watching them. He had a strange look on his face as he saw one of them pull out a book. He knew that come what may, the kids were not going to the hotel. In fact, they would be going on a fantastic adventure…